mindblowingscience
scinote:

Something Is Rotten in the State of Denmark: Why Corpse Flowers Are Incredibly Awesome

Yesterday, I waited in line for an hour and a half to see a flower that smelled like dirty socks. And it was totally awesome.
The flower in question, Amorphophallus titanum (also known as ‘The Corpse Flower’ because of the bloom’s stench, or ‘titan arum’ because of its immense size) was located at Michigan State University’s Plant Biology Conservatory. Standing at around five feet tall, the mere size of this bloom would have been enough to attract a small crowd of eager plant enthusiasts. But size is just one feature of this amazing plant.
In its native Sumatra, the titan arum blooms infrequently, and when that bloom occurs, it usually lasts only for 36 hours at most. In order for reproduction between males and females of the species, the plant needs pollinators, and fast. So how does it get them?
That’s where the titan arum gets evolutionarily creative. Rather than smelling sweet to attract butterflies, hummingbirds, or other usual pollinators, the titan arum smells like rotting meat, to attract carrion beetles and flesh flies; insects which thrive on decomposing animal matter. The titan arum even takes this act a few steps further, having huge, red-maroon leaves the color of meat, and maintaining a temperature similar to that of the human body. This acts as a double attractor, as the heat both mimics the temperature of a decomposing body of animal matter, and further diffuses the putrid stench from the flower.
Though the flowers bloom rarely in the wild, and even more rarely in cultivation, around five titan arums bloom in cultivated gardens around the world each year, with ever increasing success. If you get the chance to see one in bloom, jump at the opportunity before it’s too late. Tell your friends. Everyone needs to experience this weird wonderful world we live in before it, like the titan arum’s bloom, is gone for good.
Click here to see a short clip of Sir David Attenborough talking about these incredible plants.

Submitted by thatoneguywithoutamustache
Edited by Mark S.

scinote:

Something Is Rotten in the State of Denmark: Why Corpse Flowers Are Incredibly Awesome

Yesterday, I waited in line for an hour and a half to see a flower that smelled like dirty socks. And it was totally awesome.

The flower in question, Amorphophallus titanum (also known as ‘The Corpse Flower’ because of the bloom’s stench, or ‘titan arum’ because of its immense size) was located at Michigan State University’s Plant Biology Conservatory. Standing at around five feet tall, the mere size of this bloom would have been enough to attract a small crowd of eager plant enthusiasts. But size is just one feature of this amazing plant.

In its native Sumatra, the titan arum blooms infrequently, and when that bloom occurs, it usually lasts only for 36 hours at most. In order for reproduction between males and females of the species, the plant needs pollinators, and fast. So how does it get them?

That’s where the titan arum gets evolutionarily creative. Rather than smelling sweet to attract butterflies, hummingbirds, or other usual pollinators, the titan arum smells like rotting meat, to attract carrion beetles and flesh flies; insects which thrive on decomposing animal matter. The titan arum even takes this act a few steps further, having huge, red-maroon leaves the color of meat, and maintaining a temperature similar to that of the human body. This acts as a double attractor, as the heat both mimics the temperature of a decomposing body of animal matter, and further diffuses the putrid stench from the flower.

Though the flowers bloom rarely in the wild, and even more rarely in cultivation, around five titan arums bloom in cultivated gardens around the world each year, with ever increasing success. If you get the chance to see one in bloom, jump at the opportunity before it’s too late. Tell your friends. Everyone needs to experience this weird wonderful world we live in before it, like the titan arum’s bloom, is gone for good.

Click here to see a short clip of Sir David Attenborough talking about these incredible plants.

Submitted by 

Edited by Mark S.

astronomy-to-zoology
astronomy-to-zoology:

"Furred Sponge Crab" (Pseudodromia latens)
…a species of ‘Sponge Crab’ (Dromiidae) which is distributed from the Namibian border and around the South African coast to Sodwana Bay, it is also recorded from the Indian Ocean. Like other members of its family Pseudodormia latens will cut a off ‘piece’ of sponge and place it on its back, using its fifth pair of legs (which are specially bent upwards) to keep it in place. The sponge will then serve as a form of camouflage/protection for the crab.
Classification
Animalia-Arthropoda-Crustacea-Malacostraca-Decapoda-Brachyura-Dromiidae-Pseudodromia-P. latens
Image: Seascapeza

astronomy-to-zoology:

"Furred Sponge Crab" (Pseudodromia latens)

…a species of ‘Sponge Crab’ (Dromiidae) which is distributed from the Namibian border and around the South African coast to Sodwana Bay, it is also recorded from the Indian Ocean. Like other members of its family Pseudodormia latens will cut a off ‘piece’ of sponge and place it on its back, using its fifth pair of legs (which are specially bent upwards) to keep it in place. The sponge will then serve as a form of camouflage/protection for the crab.

Classification

Animalia-Arthropoda-Crustacea-Malacostraca-Decapoda-Brachyura-Dromiidae-Pseudodromia-P. latens

Image: Seascapeza

libutron

libutron:

Mole Cowry - Talparia talpa 

What you see in the first photo is a live specimen of the commonly known as Mole Cowry, Talparia talpa (Littorinimorpha - Cypraeidae), in which the mantle of the animal is almost fully extended covering the shell.

Formerly named Cypraea talpathe Mole Cowry is a sea snail (Gastropoda) with brilliant brown shells transversely banded in lighter color. The species is uncommon and native to the Indo-Pacific waters. 

References: [1] - [2]

Photo credit: ©Tanaka Juuyoh | Locality: Mactan Cebu, Central Visayas, Philippines - 42m deep, 2006] - [Bottom: ©Natural History Museum Rotterdam-WoRMS | Locality: Central Visayas, Philippines, 1978]

montereybayaquarium

montereybayaquarium:

Have you seen these awesome thimble jellies (Linuche aquila) in the Jellies Experience? 

Sometimes we import our jellies, and sometimes, well, we get lucky: these were grown from polyps that our clever aquarists discovered on rocks in our tropical exhibits.

The medusae (bell) of thimble jellies grow and harvest algae, called zooxanthellae, for sustenance. That’s brown coloration you see in the photos. In nature, these jellies collect in bunches at the surface. Their polyps live in long chitonous tubes, which is very different from the typical fixed jellyfish polyp.

But beware: Thimble jellies are also responsible for “sea bathers eruption” in tropical climes, such as the Caribbean. When the jellies spawn and their larvae form, they get stuck in skin or bathing suits, with unpleasant results!

Learn more about the Jellies Experience

libutron

libutron:

Fluorite | ©Viamineralia

Eastgate Quarry, Weardale, Durham, UK.

Fluorite is constituted by  calcium fluoride. It naturally occurs in all colors of the spectrum. The colors may be very intense and almost electric. Pure Fluorite is colorless; the color variations are caused by various impurities, and may be white, purple, blue, red, pink, orange, yellow, brown, green, gray, and black. May also be multicolored and banded. 

The crystal forms are most commonly octahedral and cubic; seldom dodecahedral. Crystals may also be a combination of octahedra and cubes, and dodecahedral growths may also be present, forming complex and interesting crystals. 

Fluorite from this region is known by its great daylight-fluorescence. Under artificial light it is dark grey-blue and green but switches green and intense blue-violet under daylight (as in the photos).

References: [1] - [2]